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Successful Social Media Advertising – AdAge Highlights H&R Block May 15, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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AdAge has a great article talking about the success of H&R Block’s implementation of Social Media.

Here is a nugget from the story. “Once brands embrace social media, agencies also have to change some of their fundamental processes when it comes to creating and distributing content, said Kelly Mooney, president and chief experience officer of Resource Interactive. For example, in social media there isn’t just one big idea. As evident in the H&R Block case study, sometimes social media is about stacking up many small ideas to create a big total impact.”

Over the past few months I’ve been consulting and researching social media strategies and tactics with large companies.  It is true that agencies are challenged in delivering on the social media plans.

Comments»

1. Andy Ridinger - May 26, 2008

I think that H&R Block has realized something that very few companies have realized: that the traditional sales model has been greatly impacted by social media, especially for web-centric and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) products. While the functions within the traditional Discover, Evaluate, Purchase, and Support areas remains relatively consistent, the people and resources responsible for delivering those functions has shifted.

Think about it: traditionally a Sales Rep would be responsible for getting new customers to discover the product, help the customer to evaluate it and answer questions, and then close the deal. Now a potential customer does a Google search to find the product as well as read blogs and other customer reviews (that are not run or posted by your company) about your product. They look at your website to evaluate the product, download a trial version/subscription to decide if they like it, and then purchase through the website. You made or lost the sale without any human interaction; “seller” control over these areas is lost to the web and social media. The only area left, the only area where you still have control, is Support.

Support has now become critical to influencing the other areas. When someone does a Google search for a product you sell, you want them to see the blogs and reviews written by your raving fans because they are so impressed with the amazing customer service and experience that you provided them. Treating one customer like royalty in the short term may be more costly, but in the long term not only will you spend less on helping current customers, their free word-of-mouth marketing will help you add even more customers. Support has effectively become the new marketing. Now the question is: can you follow H&R Block’s lead and adapt to the new world of social media and marketing? I recommend taking a step back and figuring out what it’s like for your customer in the Support area, and how you can improve it.

I’d be happy to email a “How SaaS has Impacted Selling” or a “7 steps to Online Marketing” guide that I put together for my internal team. Note: I don’t work for an agency & am not offering any professional service, making a sales pitch, etc – just offering free, no-strings help from one marketer to another.
– andy[dot]ridinger[at]muralconsulting[dot]com.


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